Army's claim of August 31 Gamgiphai incident slammed, termed provocative
SHDDC convenes meet to assess stir course
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 02 2011:
In the backdrop of the Union Home Minister, Government of Manipur and various section of the society appealing for lifting of the ongoing road blockade, the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) has convened a public meeting tomorrow to assess the prevailing situation arising out of the agitation and discuss future course of movement, if any.
It is informed that tomorrow's public congregation at Keithelmanbi will be crucial in deciding the course of the SHDDC-led movement as resolutions adopted in the three meetings held from August 30 upto September 1 at Gamgiphai, Kangpokpi and Saikul respectively would be evaluated by the Keithelmanbi gathering.
Among others, the latest people's convention will be attended by representatives of SHDDC's Kangpokpi, Gamgiphai, Sapermeina, Saikul and New Keithelmanbi sub-committees.
The three MLAs elected from the Assembly Constituencies falling under Sadar Hills, Chairman and members of Kangpokpi Autonomous District Council, village chiefs and leaders of women organisations of Sadar Hills are also expected to attend the said meeting.
On the otherhand, reacting to a PIB (DW) statement denying allegations levelled against two personnel of 43 Assam Rifles in the Gamgiphai incident, SHDDC vice president Thangkam Lupheng has described the denial as a cover-up exercise and an attempt to confuse the general public.
Inspite of the Army rejecting the charges levelled against some officers of the AR unit in connection with the Gamgiphai incident, Thangkam Lupheng today described the army rebuttal as false and demeaning the people's movement.
Speaking to some newspersons during a visit to enquire conditions of some women agitators who sustained injuries in the Gamgiphai incident and are currently undergoing treatment at Catholic Medical Centre, Koirengei the vice president outrightly dismissed the army rebuttal as not only provocative but also likened it to rubbing salt to the wounds.
Asserting that the army rebuttal is uncalled for and unacceptable, he asserted that the injured women recovering at the Koirengei medical centre is a testimony of the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstration by security force personnel.
It may be noted that on August 31 morning, while some women volunteers were enforcing the ongoing road blockade at Gamgiphai area two AR officers were detained by the agitators after they allegedly passed derogatory remarks and assaulted the SHDDC-sponsored bandh, which the PIB (DW) outrightly rejected with the contention that no such incident took place.
Contrary to the allegations that the two AR officers in civies were on a motorbike, the Defence Wing statement insisted that they were on foot, prompting Lupheng to dismiss the claim as ridiculous.
He opined that had SHDDC functionaries along with former MP Kim Gangte not mollified the agitated womenfolk or the commanding Officer of 43 AR not apologised the situation could have turned even more ugly.
Pointing out that relations between the Assam Rifles and people of Sadar hills had been cordial and that SHDDC still wish that such cordiality be maintained, Lupheng regretted that the PIB (DW) statement was not only a cover-up exercise but aimed at confusing the public.
commenting on the issue Gamgiphai village chief Letjang said as per Kuki customary law the incident has been settled but the AR authority's assurance to bear cost of treatment expenditure of the injured women is yet to be translated into action.